Hieroglyphs. Ogham. Runes. Emoticons. Tarot cards. Roman letters. Cyrillic letters. Arabic letters. What do these all have in common?
Symbols. Each image depicts an idea that the creator (and his culture) wanted to communicate to others. Pictures and drawings which have meaning only because they were assigned meaning. They have energy, because the meaning assigned to them contains energy.
Think of the swastika, for example. The original symbol in shamanic cultures represented the idea of divinity, of spirituality. We all know it was usurped by a culture which did its best to wipe out divinity and spirituality - and therefore the energy of the image changed.
Does this image - 8 - mean anything? As a drawing, no, it's just a twisty line. However our culture has assigned a numeric meaning to it. Turn it sideways - ∞ - and it has a completely different meaning.
I know people who fear runes and tarot cards, for instance, believing they are evil. These people assign the meaning "evil" to the images because that is the energy they are focused on, so that is what they see. I know other people who value these symbols, because love is what they're focused on, so that is what they see.
When we collect a whole bunch of symbols together, we have an entire system of communication. But the person perceiving (i.e. reading) the symbols will perceive through their own energy filter. This is why symbols and writing will never take the place of face-to-face communication, where tonality and physicality contribute to the meaning.
Is there any wonder why we so often mis-understand?